Celebrating The New York Film Festival: Film festivals are back in full swing with the New York Film Festival occurring from September 24-October 10.

Festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, The Tribeca Film Festival, and now, the New York Film Festival have all returned this year. Thousands of movie lovers will gather between the many auditoriums of Lincoln Center to catch some of the best films of the year. From big films such as “Dune,” and small projects like “Bergman Island,” the New York Film Festival offers the best of the best of films that you will likely hear about when the Oscars roll around. 

Not being accredited for the New York Film Festival as a member of the press did not stop me from buying tickets to some of my most anticipated films of the year. I attended four screenings: “Bergman Island,” “The Lost Daughter,” “The Power of the Dog,” and “Dune.” 

While it was my first time participating in a film festival, I instantly could feel that there is something unique and special about film festivals; lights begin to dim, and audience members are fully focused on the film. How many times have you gone to the movies and people are on their phones, or talking with their friends? None of that is tolerated or seen at the NYFF. During my screening of “Dune,” they had security constantly wandering up and down  the aisles to ensure that everyone had their masks on and were not videotaping the film. Perhaps it is because “Dune” was still a few weeks away from being released to the general public, but it helped keep everyone focused on the actual film itself. It is like going to a Marvel movie on opening night in a packed theatre, but these films are well made and are likely to win awards. 

Following most feature films were Q&As with select filmmakers and actors and were usually moderated by some sort of critic.  “The Lost Daughter” had one of the most positively-received talks, and included cast members Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal, Ed Harris, and director Maggie Gyllenhaal all in attendance. The crowd especially popped for Colman akin to the wrestling fans in attendance when CM Punk debuted on AEW this summer. Even Wes Anderson—who is currently filming his latest film in Spain—checked in via live stream with other frequent collaborators to converse with some cast members of “The French Dispatch” who were in New York, including Jeffrey Wright and

Léa Seydoux.

All of this is to say, the New York Film Festival is a special experience. From foreign films, animated features, to Wes Anderson’s latest, the New York Film Festival gives movie fans all sorts of opportunities to expose themselves to great cinema. Very seldom do I feel like I just watched something special when the credits roll, especially with the slog of franchise films based on IPs that we mostly receive today, but seeing

a film at the New York Film Festival will leave you with the feeling that you just witnessed something special. Films like “The Lost Daughter” and “The Power of the Dog” will likely be in the conversation for awards from now until next spring, and you would be amongst the first to see films like these if you attend the New York Film Festival. Before the concern of a sort of elitism at the New York Film Festival, they are not completely against franchise films, as they are showing “Dune,” which hopes to get a sequel down the line. 

The atmosphere is also something to behold. It is extremely rare to find yourself watching a film in a theatre amongst people who are all there to closely watch the film. There is not the usual smell of popcorn and soda filling the air, and while that may not be ideal for a film as long as “Dune,” it helps keep you focused on the film. Plus, Lincoln Center is located in the perfect part of New York City with fantastic restaurants such as Rosa Mexicano, P.J. Clarke’s on 63rd, or Il Violino. 

Whether you are a casual moviegoer or a diehard “cinephile,” the New York Film Festival can easily wet your appetite with their variety of films. I cannot recommend enough that if you ever have a chance of attending a screening at any film festival, jump at the opportunity and experience it for yourself.

Podcast of the Month: A look at Chris Gethard’s podcast, “Beautiful stories from Anonymous people.”

The podcast “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People” begins each episode with their staple catchphrase: “One phone call, one hour, no names, no holds barred.” Hosted by comedian Chris Gethard, “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People” is a podcast that allows listeners from all walks of life to find authenticity and community. On a weekly basis, Gethard randomly enters the studio and tweets a phone number for people to call. The randomly selected caller is at the center of the conversation and can discuss whatever they choose. The show has no established schedule, no queue, and hardly any vetting, for producers simply ensure that the phone connection is clear. Each episode is barely edited aside from bleeping out identifying details about the caller. This allows for listeners to experience another person’s story entirely in their own words. 

Among the many participants, the podcast includes an exhausted customer service employee, a mother awaiting life or death test outcomes for her daughter, a sex toy designer, a former monk, a young woman about to turn herself in to the police for a serious crime, and over 100 others. The episodes range from deep and heavy to humorous and light-hearted, providing a wide range of emotions for the listener to experience. Gethard’s laid-back yet interested approach appears to make it easier for the participant to open up and veer away from surface-level conversation. This approach makes the listener feel as though they are overhearing a conversation between two friends rather than two strangers. 

In one particular episode, the caller is a person who is deaf and uses a sign language translator to communicate with Gethard. The caller shared how he engaged with podcasts, a typically audio-based experience, by reading the transcripts. Gethard noted this as being one of his most memorable episodes, as he truly believed the conversation embodied a glimpse of how it feels to walk in another’s shoes. 

To sit in the space of a stranger and listen to the ugly, beautiful, and average parts of their story is a truly thought-provoking experience. I recommend “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People” because it echoes the value of every person and their story. . In addition to this, the active listening skills that Gethard demonstrates is another reason why this podcast is so valuable. He adds his own insights without decentering the caller and actively tries to understand what they are saying as best as he can. The caller, regardless of how absurd the conversation becomes, is talked to as an equal whose words contain purpose and meaning. As shared by the comedian himself, “I do my best to help and offer thoughts and advice, but I’m no therapist. I’m just a guy who is very willing to listen and who hopes that things turn out ok,” Gethard explained. 

 

The Art of Carving Pumpkins: A student reflects on the history and experience of this Halloween tradition.

It’s that time of year when families go to their nearby pumpkin patch to enjoy one of the nation’s most creative activities: pumpkin carving. The process begins with picking the perfect pumpkin, then cleaning it, and finally creating images on the pumpkin to capture the spirit of Halloween. 

Pumpkin carving dates back to ancient times when the Celtics first introduced these decorations. The “Jack-o’-Lantern” is originally named after the man “Stingy Jack” who drove the Devil. Due to him tricking the Devil, he ended up cursed, walking the earth in the afterlife. These small decorations are meant to keep Jack away from their homes.

When I think of pumpkin carving, the first thing that comes to mind is the mess. However, that’s also what makes it exciting and enjoyable as an activity, especially when surrounded by friends and family. My friends also enjoy it as it is a rarity that you can only enjoy once a year. I interviewed a few friends in particular about their experience in carving pumpkins. One friend explained what pumpkin carving means to her. She provided details of her first time performing this activity with her late grandfather when she was 10. Before starting the carving, the hard labor of cleaning was tedious, but this allowed her to show her creativity after completing the pumpkin cleaning. She got out of this experience by enjoying hard work; she has since participated in this tradition with loved ones around her. Another one of my friends had almost a similar story but with his siblings. He explained how pumpkin carving during his favorite month created a bond between him and his younger brother and sister—being the one looking over their pumpkins and helping them create what they wanted brought joy for him. He said, “It was amazing every time I could spend time with them creating something we can all enjoy.”

I have a very similar experience. I haven’t done an actual pumpkin carving in a few years, but when I did, I enjoyed myself. I carved pumpkins with my friends at a young age. Having the ability to create an image I could think of on this small object was remarkable to me. This activity made my love for Halloween more exciting. It wasn’t just the costumes, candy, or scary movies. Walking around at night and seeing each porch having a jack-o-lantern made Halloween fun. If it can make a child’s experience better on Halloween, then the hard work was worth it. So whether you do or don’t carve pumpkins, you can count on it being a tradition in many households during the month of October to capture the spirit of Halloween.

Source: Brunswick Forest

Open Letter: An open letter to my favorite artist, Paul McCartney

You may know me for wearing U2 shirts all the time, but before Bono and The Edge came into my life, Paul McCartney was my biggest influence growing up. Before losing my necklace in Iceland over this summer, I wore my Paul McCartney Hofner violin bass guitar necklace everywhere I went since I got it for Christmas a few years back. It is a reminder of my musical roots. I am by no means anywhere close to the same stratosphere of the great Paul McCartney, but it reminds me of those nights I would spend learning “Blackbird” or “Yesterday” on the guitar. I even wanted to force myself to learn the guitar and bass lefthanded. I even remember the time I went to the Allentown Symphony Hall to catch “Paul McCartney & Wings: Rockshow” with my dad when I was 12. Regardless of how much I have changed as a person, Paul McCartney and his music have always been a constant in my life.  

While I believe that it is unfair to really compare all four of the members of The Beatles for their full body of work, it is also hard to argue McCartney’s success. McCartney went from The Beatles to his self-titled solo album, “McCartney,” which includes one of the greatest love songs ever in “Maybe I’m Amazed.” His next group, Wings, was also a success and brought songs like “Band on the Run,” “Jet,” “1985,” “Silly Love Songs,” and “Listen to What the Man Said” to the table in just seven albums together. 

Even McCartney’s last three albums, “New,” “Egypt Station,” and “McCartney III” have continued his success. They are not necessarily filled with hits like his previous works, but songs like “I Don’t Know,” “Early Days,” “Queenie Eye,” and “Seize the Day” are all a part of my daily rotation. It amazes me that McCartney has matured so much in his writing, and the sheer fact that he can still put out full albums (including some where he plays every instrument) is incredible. 

Perhaps most importantly, McCartney has been touring for fans for decades. Say what you want about his voice in 2021, but he deserves credit for constantly traveling the world and bringing songs from The Beatles, Wings, and his solo albums to fans. I was lucky enough to see him on his “Out There” tour in 2013, a support tour for “New,” and I would say that this was one of the last years with his voice at full strength. It was a three-hour show of hit after hit, and I do not know if any concert experience will ever top that, especially given that the concert happened on Father’s Day that year, and my dad was the one who sat down and burned each and every album by The Beatles on my iPod when Apple did not have the rights to their music. 

So while I cannot act like McCartney’s lyrics are all as deep as the likes of U2 for example, but there is a timeless quality to McCartney’s music that has resonated with me since I was a child. With this crazy pandemic, I do not know if McCartney will ever tour again, but I am thankful for the opportunity I had to see him. Even though he will never see this, thank you, Paul, for all that you have done. I am far from the only person he has touched, but now at 79 years young, it feels appropriate to celebrate the one and only Paul McCartney, because I am amazed that he has been with me all this time. 

A Presidency in Crisis: A critical look at the president’s ongoing border crisis.

Joseph Biden, who campaigned on the promise of immigration reform, finds himself incapable of managing the biggest immigration crisis of the last twenty years. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris – the person in charge of the White House immigration front – is missing in action. 

When President Biden ran for the Presidency, he sold himself as the moderate choice among his party’s contenders and the compassionate alternative to former President Donald Trump. Then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden campaigned as a veteran of Washington politics with the experience to navigate the crises which plagued the nation, and a record of achievements that supported his claimed ability to create consensus and co-operation in government. Truth-be-told, the mantle suited him. As a Senator, he worked with Presidents of both parties and amassed an enviable legislative record. As Vice President, Biden was largely responsible for the implementation of the Recovery Act and the end to the war in Iraq. 

How, then, has the Biden Presidency gone so wrong?

As President, Joe Biden has been a well-intentioned leader whose policies are meant to promote the general welfare of the American people. However, as the crisis at the Southern border has shown, he is grossly unprepared to deal with the real issues facing the country today. 

Over the last weeks, the country has seen the real consequences brought by blind idealism, and an inability to face facts and reality. As thousands of Haitian migrants converge on Del Rio, Texas with the hope of being granted asylum, the President has created a political and humanitarian crisis which could have been avoided (like much of what has happened during his presidency), if he had listened to lawmakers on the Hill. 

This border crisis followed a familiar pattern: (1) The President was warned about the negative consequences of his messaging; (2) Lawmakers from both parties urged the White House to respond appropriately to the impending crisis; (3) The President ignored these concerns, and adopted an “I know best” policy stance: and (4) The crisis point happened, the White House did nothing and shifted blame to the Trump administration. Outside of the bubble the Biden administration seems to live (along with most Democrats, quite frankly), the reality of the situation is clear and stark: Biden owns the crisis at the border, and no amount of blame shifting, and verbal gymnastics will change that. 

The President worked himself into this crisis long before the Haitian migrants arrived at Del Rio. During the 2020 Presidential campaign, he promised to reverse every one of Trump’s policies on immigration, and did so within his first one-hundred days in office, even as the administration knew such a drastic reversal in policy would strain an already overwhelmed immigration system. This, added to the administration’s incoherent, and outright erratic, rhetoric on immigration, does nothing less than to highlight the fact the White House has not a singular idea of how to bring this problem to a humane and responsible resolution.

Now, even though some would argue Biden ought to be left to take the heat alone for this crisis – and the immigration issue as a whole, that would not be entirely fair. Since Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, no succeeding president has been able to craft an effective vision on immigration, leaving this issue to be piled up for a future president to handle. Thus, much like Afghanistan, Biden has been forced to clean up the messes of his predecessors. 

However, this is not a sufficient excuse for the utter lack of preparation and proper planning on the part of the President’s team. The image this crisis sends to the country, and indeed the rest of the world, is of a leader unable to organize and execute a unified response to the problems facing the American people. Perhaps the most interesting question that can be asked about this quagmire, is where is Kamala Harris? After all, she is the person appointed by the President of the United States to orchestrate a response to this problem. If the Vice-President is not doing the job she was elected to do, and the President will not tighten up his grip on the administration, it is appropriate to question whether or not the White House is interested in solving the biggest immigration crisis of the last twenty years, and indeed, if they are even capable of doing so.

The Fall of the COVID Policies: Analyzing the gaps in Eastern’s COVID policies.

As we roll into week eight of the semester, students are finally getting used to their routines and living as they choose.  Most students are enjoying their semester, (or barely surviving depending on who you ask), but the majority of students will tell you one thing; they want consistency.  Specifically, consistency surrounding the universities COVID policies.  

When the semester started, freedom of choice and student’s ability to take responsibility for themselves was relatively easy.  However, after the first round of covid testing, things took a turn for the worse.  With only three positive cases after testing the entire residential community, the university double downed on their COVID policies.  At the start of the semester, students were able to go home on the weekends.  Not any more.  

If a residential student spends their time overnight off of campus, the student is required to provide a negative test before returning.  Unfortunately, this is only applicable in some cases. 

For example, on the weekend of fall free days, the majority of students decided to go home.  Most students I talked to said they were worried about finding a place to get a negative test before returning to campus. A few days before the break started, the university sent an email saying that students preparing to leave for fall free days do not need to provide a negative test upon return.  

With the release of this message, most students were excited.  However, this is quite confusing since that means the majority of students went home and then the university did not require a negative test.  The testing provided by the university would not take place for another two weeks after the break. According to the CDC, if you come in contact with someone who tested positive, and you are not vaccinated, you should observe a 10 day quarantine.  That 10 day quarantine passed on Friday, Oct. 15.  If keeping our case numbers low is such a high priority of the university, wouldn’t it make more sense to test the week after fall break in the middle of the quarantine period, not after it has passed? 

In addition, there are some other inconsistencies that are making students feel at a loss.  Homecoming weekend, Oct. 8 – 10, the university had many outside visitors.  It was super exciting to see new and old faces around campus.  However, multiple students reported seeing siblings and parents of current students and alumni in the dining hall. 

The dining hall is considered a high risk zone, so much so, the university enforces a mask policy inside the dining commons.  Why are we allowing outside visitors in such a high risk area? Don’t we need to keep the residential population safe? 

Lastly, the university is allowing admissions to bring prospective students into the residence halls for dorm tours.  However, if I am correct, we are currently in phase-C, which means outside visitors are not allowed inside the residence halls.  But yet, the university will parade the prospective students inside the residence halls just to try and get a higher enrollment number. 

The universities covid policies provide some freedom of choice, but ultimately, they are lacking consistency.  With this lack, students are feeling discouraged and disheartened.  The semester is stressful on its own, sometimes going home will make a bad week turn for the better.  Since we have had such low positivity rates, and if the trend continues for the next round of testing, Eastern should relax the rules because the student body has shown that we are responsible enough to make our decisions, and that we are able to keep ourselves safe.

Justice for Petito: A devastating end to a social media relationship.

Traveling is made to be relaxing and fun, especially with a significant other. Couples plan vacations for months and prepare for them in advance. It is an exciting time for both parties. Many people do not plan for trips to take a drastic turn but for this TikTok couple, it does. 

22-year-old Gabby Petitio and 23-year-old fiance Brian Laundrie went on a cross country trip across the United States in June 2021. Petitio kept regular contact with her family while traveling between texts and phone calls. On August 12, 2021 the couple got into an argument where police showed up. There was a physical fight following the argument but the couple continued their travels across the U.S.

August 30, 2021 was the last time Petitio made contact with her family before being reported missing.

September 11, 2021 Petito’s parents report her missing to the police, according to CNN, after Laundrie returned home without Petitio on September 1, 2021. Police came to Laundrie’s house, CNN said, but Laundrie’s parents lawyered up before police could ask to speak to Laundrie. September 14, 2021 Laundrie fled which sparked local and federal authorities on a manhunt for the 23-year-old. 

As of today, Laundrie is still on the run with the FBI still searching for him, as well as, looking for Petito. On September 19, 2021, human remains were found in Tento County, Wyoming, and were announced to be Petito’s on September 21, 2021. The FBI has released the final autopsy results and the manhunt for Laundrie is still in process.

Laundrie is the prime suspect of Petito’s death, which has been confirmed a homicide, according to Matthew Loh, a reporter for Insider. With all this information being present, it is hard to deny that Laundrie does not have something to do with Petito’s disappearance. He fled when police showed up to his door, he came back from their trip without his fiance and did not report her missing. 

The odds are stacked against him whether he did it or not. He has led the FBI on a full fledged manhunt, piling this on top of other cases the FBI has to solve. If Laundrie were to have stayed and talked to the police, the case would have been solved by now. Petitio’s family would be at peace and the case could be closed. Laundrie should do the right thing and turn himself in, so the police and FBI are able to solve it. 

Petito’s family needs peace and justice for their daughter’s death, whether Laundrie did it or not. There needs to be justice in this case. Laundrie may not have done it but the search for him is distracting them from other suspects that it could be. The sooner the case is solved, the sooner the Petitio family can mourn and heal properly. It is unfair for the Petito family to not have answers, while Laundrie’s family tries to protect him. Something has to be done and that is justice for Petito. 

Sources:  CNN, Insider

 

The Fault in Our Feathers: A satirical take on the university’s goose shortage.

Flaws are a natural consequence of any relationship, and between Eastern and its students, there are many flaws. One of the most popular flaws of Eastern University is that of the geese that take pleasure in invading campus. 

This year is different however, as the geese have decided that more action should be taken to ensure a safer year between geese and students, and to achieve a higher approval rating amongst the geese. 

As many students may have already noticed, there is a significant lack of geese on campus in comparison to previous years. 

All of this is to say, the geese want more from us. More financial compensation, more fearful reactions from students, more fulfilment. 

To discuss these new criteria, the geese requested a meeting with the President of Eastern University, Dr. Ronald Matthews.

In this meeting, to gain credibility, the geese stacked themselves on top of each other, hiding the tomfoolery under a large trench coat, with their leader, Mother Goose, atop the stack. 

With Mother Goose leading the negotiations, the meeting began on September 31st at 9:30 a.m. in President Matthews’s office. 

“We need more from this establishment” said Mother Goose in a hasty beginning to the negotiations. 

“Who are you and what are you doing in my office?” was Dr. Matthew’s reply. Needless to say, the meeting did not go well. 

As the geese continued their attempt at a meeting, Matthews grew increasingly annoyed at the breaking and entering of his office. Public safety was called to the scene, but the geese left on their own a few hours before their arrival. 

“I have never felt so disrespected before in my life” said Mother Goose after dismounting from the stack of geese. “I will get my payback”

Following the meeting, the geese held a brief protest on campus to gauge the reactions they would receive from being back on campus. After watching a group of freshmen run away in terror, they almost considered staying for the year, but it just was not enough. 

Soon after, a group of geese from neighboring University, Cabrini, showed up to back up the Eastern geese mafia. The geese surrounded Matthews’s car until he caved into their demands. 

Following the negotiations, administration agreed to admit more freshmen both this year and for upcoming years, increasing the number of individuals who can be scared by the geese. “We enjoy hearing the screams of unsuspecting new students,” said a goose representative who asked to remain anonymous. 

The addition of a new goose path has also been ordered to allow the geese freedom to defecate more freely around campus, and provide more opportunities for students to ruin their shoes whilst on their way to classes. Construction is set to begin and finish in September of 2047. 

On top of the other met demands, the geese will also be allowed to feast on the remains of food scraps thrown out after meal times from Sodexo. The geese declined said offer, but appreciated the gesture. 

The geese have been perusing Eastern for as long as they can remember, and as they become more aggressive, so do the students who have evolved to stand up to them. Students have even gone so far as to bully said geese through one of Eastern’s many meme accounts, @easterngeese.

While many worried that the account would stir up issues with the geese, it turns out that the geese actually love the attention.

“I saw cousin Larry on the meme account a few months ago!” said Mother Goose in an interview. “I’ve been a follower ever since, I love seeing these candid images of my family!”

Acknowledging Bias in News Outlets: Calling for open and honest discourse across the political aisle.

On August 29, the US ordered a drone strike on a suspected ISIS-K target, in Afghanistan. This is about a month after Biden pulled America out of Afghanistan in a chaotic and messy operation. In the aftermath of the strike, the target turned out not to be an ISIS-K target, but a vehicle containing 10 civilians, seven of whom were children. All of these civilians were from the same extended family. This event caused outrage among conservatives while it only garnered minimal reporting attention from liberals. I counted three articles on MSNBC related to the Kabul drone strike, compared to nine on Fox News. 

In an article, MSNBC did not connect the botched strike to the Biden administration until the second to last paragraph and then very vaguely, while most Fox News articles mentioned Biden and his administration in the first or second paragraph. I was interested in finding out what the reporting would look like on botched military activities under a republican president. 

After a little research I found that the first military raid under Donald Trump had resulted in the death of thirty civilians. I found scathing articles from MSNBC and The Independent, which both connected the incident to Trump in the first paragraph. On the other hand, I was unable to find reporting of this event on some of the main conservative websites, meaning it must have either been reported sparsely, or perhaps not at all. 

This brings up a point that bugs me about politics, they are too political. Over and over, it is the same story. When my opponent’s party is in the White House, I get outraged when civilians are killed. When my own party’s president is in the White House, I don’t mind civilians getting killed, after all, it’s just another part of war. We see this in most reporting in the general mainstream media among both conservative and liberal outlets. Even the most prestigious news agencies on both sides of the aisle fall into this trap. Worst of all, the outlets that claim to be neutral, (CNN), are blatantly biased. Both Media Bias Fact Check and Allsides.com have categorized CNN as having left leaning bias.   

It is interesting that many people trust one news source and believe anything their one particular source says. The people who watch Fox News and believe what their favorite anchor says, and vice versa with MSNBC. Even worse, people only believe what CNN says because they are “neutral”. Biases are natural, and so there is no news organization that is free from it. This is why it’s important to read a variety of views on an issue. There is no one consistent source of truth when it comes to news. 

If you’re a conservative, you might want to remember that President Biden is not the one flying the drone, or probably authorizing the strike. If you’re liberal, you might want to report on the fact that this is happening under the Biden presidency and perhaps even because of policy he has put in place. The killing of innocent civilians, especially children, is always a terrible event. But let us remember to feel pity for these civilians whenever this happens, not just when the opposing party is in power. We must also remember that this is warfare, and there are terrible situations where civilians will inevitably become casualties. 

Truth is at great risk in our society. Lies are everywhere. Both sides of the political aisle accuse the other of lying. Let us attempt to rise above politics and put truth first. I don’t mean abandon principle, but I do mean search out the truth, and be willing to admit that we are wrong. Admitting we are wrong when we are, is the only road to finding out what is true. We must do this because who wants to believe a lie?   

Sources: Allsides.com, CNN, Fox News, Media Bias Fact Check, MSNBC, and The Independent.

Checking Out Nick Filet: An Eastern student scopes out a new dining location in the area.

Some years ago – when I was a freshman – having little or no money in my wallet, but desperate for food other than Sodexo, I thought I’d walk into Wayne and see what food was available. This is a feeling every Eastern student inevitably feels: whenever you’re staring mournfully at the same spinach wrap you’ve eaten for the last twenty-four days; whenever you enter the dining commons and despair fills your soul; whenever the mystery meat is so dry that it requires three cups of water to consume – then it is high time to dash into Wayne and get into a restaurant as soon as you can. 

The closest cluster of restaurants within walking distance is at the intersection of Aberdeen and Lancaster. When I was a freshman there were plenty of options here. However, Covid has brought the harsh reality of our fallen world upon us: Panera? Gone. Five Guys? Closed. Chipotle? Would be better if it was gone. Even the pet store and the oft-visited Starbucks down the street left for greener pastures. For students with cars, these closings might be an inconvenience at worst, but for those of us without, the lack of restaurants dooms us to the monotony of the dining hall. Such students are left with the choice of either eating at the god-awful Chipotle, or being extraverted and making friends with people who have cars; I don’t know which prospect is scarier. 

However, amidst these closings, one fast-food franchise has decided to swoop in and save the day: Nick Filet. If you’ve never heard of them, that’s not surprising: their new location on Lancaster is only their second public location in the state and fourth location nation-wide. Their logo is a bearded bitmoji dude (presumably Nick?) in a tuxedo holding a sandwich on a platter. Yes, their official logo is literally a bitmoji dude. After walking by the location several times, the hilariousness of the branding finally convinced me to go there. Inside, I was greeted with a clean, casual interior with posters of various signature sandwiches (each featuring Nick in various bitmoji costumes and poses. Who did the branding for this restaurant??). Nick Filet specializes in “Steak-House quality Filet-Mignon, but affordable!” according to their website. Most things on their menu are sandwiches with ¼ lb. cuts of filet-mignon on a Kaiser roll. I expected absolutely nothing when I walked in, but I have to say: it was really freaking good. I got the “Classic Nick”, a filet-mignon sandwich with a healthy portion of bleu cheese and their signature sauce, but all of their sandwiches looked incredible, and (most importantly) the steak was excellent (Imagine, steak that has moisture in it and is seasoned properly! Is it that hard Sodexo??) The one possible downside is the price: A sandwich alone costs a cool $11.99, and adding a drink and fries will run you closer to $16. While this is a bit steep, what are the other options? A Chipotle burrito that’s half the proper size and tastes like burnt plastic? Didn’t think so. 

So next time you’re in Wayne and see the spiffy logo of Nick Filet ready to serve, consider stopping in; you won’t regret it.